There's no denying that good-quality bike locks tend to be heavy, plus they're often awkward to carry. While we have seen efforts to make them lighter and less obtrusive, Latvian startup GreyNut has gone a step farther – its Bindio system simply places the lock at a parking spot at the cyclist's destination, so it's already there waiting for them.
Already in use in the Latvian city of Riga, Bindio consists of a series of Wi-Fi-enabled "bike docks" which are permanently installed at various locations such as stores, schools or cafes.
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Cyclists who are members of the Bindio system first use an iOS/Android app on their smartphone to reserve a dock at their chosen destination. Upon getting there, they use that same app to wirelessly release one of that dock's two hardened-steel chains. They subsequently run that chain through their bike's frame and front wheel, then lock the chain back into the dock's central post.
Everything will stay secured, until that particular user comes back and uses their phone to unlock the chain. Additionally, should anyone try sawing or cutting through the chain, sensors in the dock will detect the telltale vibrations and notify the user via an alert on their phone. In some setups, the parking area will additionally feature a security camera and an audible alarm.
The system is free for cyclists to use, with revenue presumably coming from businesses and/or municipalities that pay to have the docks installed. Of course, it will only come in handy for cyclists who are travelling to Bindio-equipped locations, plus they won't be able to make any unplanned stops en route. Nonetheless, it could work out well for riders who regularly go to and from such a place with little deviation.
GreyNut is currently raising funds on Kickstarter, in order to increase distribution of the system. While various rewards are available for smaller pledge amounts, US$1,620 will get you a Bindio dock of your own – should everything work out. A motorcycle-specific model is available for $1,290.
The system is demonstrated in the following video.